Aadhaar card is not mandatory for availing benefits: SC

Some states had made Aadhaar mandatory for several welfare entitlements

September 24, 2013 1:40 IST | India Infoline News Service
The Supreme Court on Monday said no person will be denied welfare benefits, various services and subsidies for not having the Aadhaar number. The apex court also asked the government to ensure that the cards were not issued to illegal migrants.

Some states had made Aadhaar mandatory for several welfare entitlements such as for availing pensions, salary, marriage registration, scholarships and even to register property.

The Supreme Court order is expected to benefit a number of people. Justices BS Chauhan and SA Bobde, in a brief order, directed that writ petitions on the Aadhaar card be listed for hearing before a Constitution Bench. “Until then no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the Authority making it mandatory, since government says it is voluntary. The Authority should verify whether the applicant is entitled to the card under the law and should not issue it to illegal immigrants,” said the two-judge Bench.

Justice KS Puttaswamy, retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, and other petitioners said the Aadhaar scheme was unconstitutional.

Launched in February 2009, Aadhaar is designed to provide every resident in India a unique 12-digit identity number.

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